As an authority on sculpting the kind of perfect body that can both frustrate and excite you, Joe Manganiello knows a thing or two about sex appeal. The jacked True Blood star and certified beefcake is sharing his fitness secrets on how to get a body like his—the natural way—in “Evolution“, his first book in stores this week.
But before you toss this aside as another celebrity-endorsed gimmick or mysterious diet that actually makes you gain weight, know that Joe and Joe’s Eight Pack really get you. You’re your own worst enemy when it comes to working out, ya know, which is why this man is going to change your mind before he gets to your body.
“This book is designed to take away people’s excuses,” he says. “I was not blessed with genes to put on muscle weight. I’ve never touched a steroid. I had to bust my ass.” So you weren’t genetically blessed, Joe? We’re listening.
“Most people think they’re working out really hard, but when I see them at the gym, they’re lazy!” Each glossy page of the book, which includes a stockpile of photos featuring oiled Manganiello muscles, is designed to break down mental walls and destroy the mental blocks keeping you from that extra set of pushups. (We’re sure the detailed diet plan helps too).
But is mental clarity the only thing that transformed a scrawny, young Joe into the sex symbol he is today? Guess you’ll have to read the book and find out!
And remember, Joe Mangiello isn’t the first celebrity to fully transform his body. Check out these seven other celebrity transformations and find out how they managed:
Why He Did It: Rumor has it that Twilight darling Taylor Lautner’s sudden bulking was not by choice, but out of necessity! He told MTV that he cut junk food from his diet and started hitting the gym four to five days a week after producers of the Twilight saga considered recasting his character “Jacob” in the franchise’s second film because his body was, uh, let’s just say lacking. It wasn’t until he put on 30 pounds of muscle that he became the hunky werewolf we know today.
How He Did It: In a 2009 interview with Men’s Health, Lautner revealed how he morphed from a scrawny extra into a “fitness animal” between films. Just like Manganiello, he didn’t hit the genetic lottery for packing on pounds. If you’re looking to add weight where it counts (and fast!), he recommends cutting down on cardio and snacking on raw meat patties.
Why He Did It: Fans of comedy god Seth Rogen’s high-profile bromance with James Franco remember a time when the portly star looked more like an ’80s Roseanne Barr than a bona fide superhero. In preparation for his role in 2011’s The Green Hornet, Rogen went to great lengths promoting a more reasonable exercise plan for the masses.
How He Did It: Instead of focusing on long days at the gym and endless repetitions of one exhausting cycle, Rogen lost 30 pounds in just five weeks weeks with the Five Factor diet plan. Though his new diet consisted mainly of five portioned meals per day to lessen hunger and cravings, he stuck with a workout plan that combined strength and cardio training in five five-minute intervals. Best of all, his routine only lasts 25 minutes a day and requires no more than a pair of dumbbells and a bench.
Why He Did It: It’s not like we expected the son of the Terminator to grow into a useless pile of lard, but we never expected him to emerge from the ocean as a sweltering sex god on his 18th birthday. It was genetics that first inspired the SoCal stud to frequent the outdoor fitness stations around his Brentwood home, but probably the promise of paparazzi that keeps him coming back.
How He Did It: In 2011, this dude revealed his fitness secret to be a grueling combination of “jogging, sprinting, pushups, pull ups, and Jamba Juice,” though having 24 free hours a day to leisurely exercise doesn’t hurt either. Fans of his public workouts have noted that frequent cardio bursts and low-impact pilates in the park keep his frame lean and beach-ready year-round.
Why He Did It: In what has undoubtedly become the most dramatic celebrity body transformation of 2013, Chaz Bono shed more than 85 pounds in just under a year to become the “healthier, happier, lighter, and more confident” man he is today. There’s a reputation to uphold, being pop Goddess Cher’s son and all, but it was his stint on Dancing With the Stars that inspired him to shape up.
How He Did It: In a recent interview with Extra, Bono revealed his weight loss secret to be a combination of exercise and lifestyle changes that began with a healthier appetite. “Diets don’t work,” he told People earlier this year. “You just have to change what you eat.” According to him, a strict diet of vegetables, meat, fruits and nuts while avoiding grains and dairy entirely will do the trick.
Why He Did It: Before he popped his cherry in Brokeback Mountain and slayed an army in Prince of Persia, Hollywood heartthrob Jake Gyllenhaal had the body of an average teenager. Being the prodigal son in a family of actors was reason enough for him to form some muscle and ultimately a bigger paycheck.
How He Did It: Gyllenhaal’s most intense transformation came during production on PoP, a film that trainer Simon Waterson says deserved more than muscle alone. “We had to build a functional, strong and agile physique capable of dealing with a huge workload and stresses,” he told Men’s Health in 2010. The labor-intensive workout he prescribed for Gyllenhaal is detailed in the magazine. Don’t forget 30 minutes of continuous squats!
Why He Did It: We could argue that Gerard Butler would look insanely hot at just about any weight, but he wouldn’t have been a very convincing Greek warrior without that legendary body in 2006’s 300. It was the role that convinced him to grow a rock garden where his stomach should be, and lucky for us, he’s still got it.
How He Did It: Butler’s “300-rep Spartan workout” is not for the faint of heart, and if the title doesn’t scare you, the prospect of no rest will. He gave Men’s Fitness every last excruciating detail: “25 pull ups, 50 dead lifts with 135 pounds, 50 push-ups, 50 jumps on a 24-inch box, 50 floor wipers, 50 single-arm clean-and-presses using a 36-pound kettlebell and 25 more pull-ups (with no rest in between).” But all that work is totally worth it—he told MH he felt “like a lion” once it was finished.
Why He Did It: Adrien Brody tells Men’s Fitness he “ate almost nothing” to lose 30 pounds for his Oscar-winning role in 2002’s The Pianist, but it wasn’t until his role in Predators eight years later that he became a full-fledged Hollywood hunk.
How He Did It: Brody added a handsome set of pecs and a stunning eight-pack to his already lean physique in just three short weeks while filming King Kong in New Zealand. He told Men’s Health that he owed his chiseled frame to a simple workout and his legendary self-control. He ran two miles every day, did crunches, pushups and pull-ups, but eliminating “sugar, booze, and sex” is the real secret, he says.
Joe Manganiello’s Evolution is now in stores and available online.